October 4, 2014
What is the Megatransect? Race Report
The Megatransect is a 26+ mile/hike and trail run event staged in Central Pennsylvania . The course is designed to challenge any trained or seasoned athlete. The recreational hiker or trail runner not looking to set any blistering personal records for the distance can also enjoy it equally. It is an event that focuses on the safety and needs of all entrants. Preparing is the key to success and even that is not guaranteed. Racing the course is not the objective, finishing strong is!
The outstandingly beautiful course offers unique geologic features, such as an unrelenting boulder field of white Tuscarora sandstone. Cliffs line a scenic gorge to heights of 300 feet that sink from the Chestnut flat plateau. Trails run along miles of streams and brooks with multiple stream crossings and small waterfalls. Competitors will be subjected to unrelenting climbs and down hills with total vertical gains over 5000 feet. Footing varies from soft peat to gravel to boulders as well as smooth stream stones and shallow water crossings. While most of the course is under the canopy of mature forest, some sections orient under the hot sun. This is especially true in the slow going boulder field sections.
Interesting flora and fauna abound. Natural areas harbor old growth hemlock. Wet seasons bring out mushrooms of every type. Bear, coyote, deer, bobcat, porcupine, fox and turkey are all common. An occasional Bald and Golden Eagle can be spied near the reservoirs. Reptiles and amphibians abound with rattlesnakes and copperheads always a concern.
The Megatransect planning committee is comprised of well-traveled hikers, avid trail runners and marathoners. Their varied experiences and dedication to the Megatransect has resulted in one largest trail events in the United States! It has been so successful that we are now limiting registrations to the first 1000 entrants. Historical it sells out on opening day. The course is designed to cycle moderate to very difficult terrain with easier sections for recovery. It by no means designed for speed but instead to be more technical in nature. The course is well supported with a small army of volunteers to provide basic needs as well as emergency help and evacuation if needed. The race boasts a fantastic safety record and a high finishing percentage.
Dave Kagan article about "Missing the Megatransect" James Nevins final words about the Megatransect.